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SCAM ALERT: Do Not Pay Callers Who Threaten to Arrest You Unless You Pay

Monday, April 10, 2023

Residents of the Northern District of Georgia continue to receive fraudulent phone calls claiming that the victim failed to appear for jury duty in federal court and/or has an arrest warrant or similar adverse situation. The scammer tells the victim that he or she can avoid arrest or other negative consequences by making a payment, which may include purchasing a pre-paid card—such as a Green Dot card or gift card—and then giving the card number to the scammer.

The scammer may sound convincing and use real information about the victim; real court addresses; and real names of law enforcement officers, court officials, and federal judges to make the scam appear more credible. Scammers may even “spoof” the phone number on caller ID so that the call falsely appears to be from a court number (such as 404-215-1600) or the number of another government agency.

These phone calls are not from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, the U.S. Marshals Service, or other law enforcement agencies. You should not provide the caller with any personal information, credit card numbers, pre-paid card numbers, or money.  Here are the facts:

  • The court will always send a jury summons by U.S. Mail.
  • The court and law enforcement will never demand payment over the phone.
  • The court and law enforcement will never demand a gift card number to satisfy an obligation.
  • A prospective juror who disregards a jury summons will be contacted through the mail by the court clerk’s office and may, in certain circumstances, be ordered to appear before a judge. Such an order will always be in writing and signed by the judge.  
  • A fine will never be imposed until after the individual has appeared in court and been given the opportunity to explain his or her circumstances. If a fine is imposed, it will be in open court and reduced to writing (and will not be payable by gift card number).

If you have received a scam phone call or if you wish to verify whether you have been summoned for federal jury duty in the Northern District of Georgia, contact the jury office at 404-215-1640.